Friday, December 17, 2010

Learning to Communicate

This has been a busy week. Daughter has had times when she's done well and been a pleasure to be around, and times when she's struggled. There has been quite a bit of drama in her program this week-- several staff members have been sick, including one who was taken away by the squad. I think it's been somewhat frustrating for her that the drama has not been centered on her.
Some of her attempts to create drama this week:
  • stabbing herself in the ankle several times with a syringe-- she says she wants to break it (something an insulin needle definitely won't do)
  • trying to get me to leave her home when I go to church in the morning
  • telling me she was in pain and unable to go to the bathroom at all, including urinating. She insisted she was in excruciating pain and needed help immediately. I took it under advisement.
  • 30 minutes later coming to me for stomach medicine because her stomach was upset and she couldn't stop going to the bathroom.
  • insisting she was having severe flashbacks and was hearing voices and needed to be hospitalized immediately (so the hospital could kill her).
  • refusing to get up in the morning, to the point of not reacting when I put ice down her top and her pants.
  • the usual sneaking food-- her talent in that area continues to grow.

We've had several conversations about this bent toward drama this week. After a great day on Tuesday, she started moaning and groaning on the way home. When she finally agreed to tell me what was really wrong, she was scared because the roads were bad and was sure we were going to get in a bad wreck. Reassurance, prayer, and singing Christmas carols all the way home helped calm those fears.

Today I acknowledged that I've been busy, and suggested that she has been resorting to increasingly desperate measures (and wild stories) to get my attention. She readily acknowledged this, and informed me she'd only made up the flashbacks and voices today because it was too hot and noisy at bingo. I suggested that telling staff that would be more effective than claiming to be psychotic. I suggested we come up with better ways for her to get attention, and pointed out that if she would do her part around the house, I'd have more time to spend with her and would want to spend time with her. We have these conversations on a regular basis. Someday it's going to sink in. Then again, claiming psychotic episodes is much more dramatic than saying the room is too hot and noisy. If it's drama you seek, that's a pretty effective way to create it. I have to give the staff credit. They're doing a good job of not buying into her drama.

I've discovered the downside of email in the church this week-- we've had a couple of conflicts via email. Yesterday evening I had two combatants pulling me into their struggle. I told them both that we wouldn't have all the information to make a decision until January, so they should calm down and relax and we'd discuss it then. Both did so. I'm going to have to be at that committee meeting in January, because I'm sure the calm will end that night, if not before. One of the individuals involved had wanted me at their meeting this month, but I had another meeting at the same time I thought was more critical.

I'm still enjoying life here in Capital. I like the challenges I'm facing, even though I wonder how I can possibly get everything done. Each new problem presents a challenge and I find my brain flooded with possible solutions. I'm still not convinced my brain isn't in danger of exploding from all the ideas that are circulating in it. The joy and challenges I'm experiencing make it harder for Daughter to suck me into her drama, which is one of the reasons she's escalating. When she has my undivided attention, she's fine. As soon as I'm busy, she starts looking for the emergency that will focus my attention completely on her.

She's supposed to be working on telling me what she needs and helping more around the house so I am less stressed and have more time to give her.

No comments: